Across the board, the housing market in America has been steadily gathering steam. Nowhere has this been more apparent than with the super high-end home market. Around the country, 2012 saw some of the largest, record-breaking home sales to date, and the Chicago luxury real estate market was no exception.

Park Hyatt at 800 North Michigan AveWhile the east and west coasts have been a haven for real estate transactions, Chicago luxury real estate saw some impressive deals too. Take for example the Park Tower’s 66th floor penthouse that was purchased in November by Citadel founder Ken Griffin. He jumped on the home the day it was put on the market, and is now the owner of the 7,900-square foot unit with three bedrooms, four full baths, and five half baths. The penthouse also features a private terrace and three garage spaces in the building’s parking lot. The sales price? $15 million, making it the highest price ever paid for an apartment in the Windy City.

In other places around the country like Miami, the luxury housing market also reached new heights. In March, hedge fund billionaire Eddie Lampert spent $38.4 million on a 17,700-square foot villa on the exclusive Indian Creek Island. Then, in August, an anonymous Russian buyer paid $47 million for a 30,000-square foot modern mansion just a few doors down.

High-net worth individuals around the country seem to be okay with spending outrageous amounts of money on luxury homes, especially in global destinations like Chicago and Miami. But nowhere has seen prices climb higher than New York City. Apartment buildings that overlook Central Park command the highest prices, and an $88 million penthouse that was purchased by a trust associated with Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, became the most expensive price paid per-square-foot anywhere in the U.S.

Luxury condos seem to hold a special place in the heart of wealthy foreign buyers. Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel, a New York City-based appraisal firm, adds, “Luxury real estate in 2012 has become the new global currency. It’s become all about capital preservation as opposed to seeking out returns — and markets with upper-end housing stock are clearly benefitting.”

If you would like assistance with Chicago, luxury real estate, please contact me. I have worked with and helped countless buyers find the Chicago home of their dreams, so I would love to assist you with your home search in any way possible. Posted by Helaine Cohen on


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